Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly tied up the signing of Atalanta playmaker Ruslan Malinovskyi, writes the FourFourTwo.
Spurs were chasing the Ukrainian schemer in the summer along with a number of other creative targets including Leicester City No.10, James Maddison. With six new faces arriving at the club, however, the Lilywhites couldn’t complete all the business that Antonio Conte wanted to, with the Italian stressing that he wanted to do more.
“If you compare to last season, we are more complete,” Conte said (opens in new tab). “But to reach other teams at the top level we need time, patience and transfer markets, at least two transfer markets to reach the same level.”
Now, Italian publication Il Giorno (opens in new tab) claims that Tottenham have gone back in for Malinovskyi and will pay around £13 million to secure the midfielder in January, giving the side a boost until the end of the season.
Spurs have struggled without the likes of Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison in the team, with Conte moving to a 3-5-2 to pack the midfield. Son Heung-min’s injury against Marseille left the side with just Harry Kane of those front four – and a real lack of creativity in breaking down deeper blocks.
Conte has been bullish about his desire for Kane to stop playmaking and get on the end of chances in the 18-yard box, which has so far paid dividends. The England captain has 10 goals so far this season, with only Erling Haaland having scored more in the Premier League.
Malinovskyi therefore is likely to either play as part of the front three or as a midfielder in the 3-5-2.
The 29-year-old can play either as a central midfielder of a second striker, meaning that he could be deployed alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg or Rodrigo Bentancur or ahead of them, behind Kane and/or Son.
Malinovskyi is valued at around £25m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).